Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Henry Clayton & Co. - Manufacturers of Patented Brick Making Machines

The Practical Brick and Tile book, 1880 by Edward Dobson.

In this post as well as giving you a little background info to Henry Clayton's company & family life, I concentrate on listing the brickmakers & companies by the way of photos & info from many sources who used Clayton's patented brick-making machines. Clayton's machines where shipped all round the world as well as being used in the UK, but so far I have only procured 21 images of bricks stamped with Clayton's name on one side & the brickmaker's/company's name on the other. Myself & fellow brick collectors have found many examples with only the Clayton stamp mark & no name on the reverse & web articles report the same, so out there in the wide-wide world these Clayton stamped bricks are waiting to be found. 

If you do have photos of company/brick maker names not already in this post, please send them along with any info to my e-mail address on the contacts tab page & I will gladly add them to the post with your name. Thanks.

To save any confusion in this article we have 3 Henry Clayton's, Henry senior b.1871, Henry our brick-machine inventor b.1814 & then his son referred to as Henry junior, b.1849. 

Henry Clayton was born in Marylebone on the 20th September 1814 & was christened on the 13th October 1814 at St. Mary's Church, Marylebone, his parents are listed as Henry & Sarah Clayton.  

The first record of Henry Clayton manufacturing his Patented hand-driven brick & tile making machines made at 21, Upper Park Place, Marylebone can be found in the form of an advert which appeared in the 1845 July edition of the Hereford Times newspaper & it records Henry was displaying his brick machines at the Royal Agricultural Show, Shrewsbury. 

Two later adverts for Clayton's state that Henry Clayton & Co. had been established in 1821, but with Henry Clayton being only 7 in 1821, the engineering company appears to have been started by his father also named Henry. Although I do not have any proof of this fact yet, I believe Henry's father had started the company in 1821 & manufactured agricultural tools & equipment because the 1845 & 1849 Royal Agricultural Show adverts for Henry, our brick machine inventor records Clayton's were producing horticultural & agricultural tools as well as brick making machines. The year Henry senior passed over the running of his company to his son is unknown, but I am thinking this may have been around 1839 & although I do not have any written proof, Henry would have been 25 in that year & would have acquired the experience by then to being able to run a company especially with his business acumen & inventive mind that we later read about. We do know that Henry was running the company by 1845 because of the 1845 advert is clearly Henry Clayton our brick machine inventor born 1814. This 1839 change over date also matches up to the 1841 census entry for Henry Clayton senior aged 50, born 1791 & his wife Sarah aged 45, born 1796 with Henry listed as an estate agent. This may have been someone who looks after an estate of land or buildings rather than today's meaning of an estate agent who sells property. The census records Henry & Sarah were living at Southampton Buildings, St. Andrews, Holborn together with Phillip Lamb aged 55, who is recorded as being "of independent means". So could Phillip Lamb be the owner of Southampton Buildings & Henry was working for him ?

I have also found the burial record for Henry senior. This burial document records Henry was born in 1791 & died in January 1848 aged 57 & was buried on the 31st January 1848 at St. Mary's Church, Paddington Green. Henry Clayton senior's abode is given as Upper Park Place, Dorset Square, St. Marylebone. So it appears Henry senior was living with his son Henry at Upper Park Place (ref. 1851 census) when he passed away, hence me being certain that I have the right details for Henry senior from this burial record. I have not been able find the whereabouts of Henry's wife Sarah because there is no entry for Sarah at Southampton Buildings or anywhere else in the 1851 census & she wasn't living with her son at Upper Park Place, so had she also passed away ? 

The 1851 census records Henry, aged 36, married to Emma aged 27, together with their son, Henry junior, aged 18 months, living at 21, Upper Park Place, Marylebone & working as a machinist, employing 10. Please note the Atlas Works address is also given as 21, Upper Park Place, so Henry's house was next to the works.

Going back to the newspaper adverts dated between 1845 & 1854 from around the country & Ireland, records Henry was visiting Agricultural Shows selling his patented brick making machines which he was manufacturing at his Atlas Works, Upper Park Place & this road is coloured yellow on the map below & I am taking it that the marked warehouse was his Atlas Works. The 1849 advert records that the company name was now Henry Clayton & Co. 

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1870.

In 1851 Henry was awarded the 1st-class prize for his patented brick machinery at London's Great Exhibition in Hyde Park & his advert which appeared in the exhibition's catalogue can be see at this link, Marlborough Books - item 9. 

On the 2nd of July 1853 the trial of Clayton vrs Percy took place at the Guildhall in the City of London before Lord Chief Baron Pollock & a special jury regarding the infringements of Mr. Clayton's "Screening Apparatus" patents. The resulting verdict of this infringement was proven in the favour of Mr. Clayton on all accounts, therefore stopping Mr. Percy from continuing to use his screening process. The court action did not end there & on the 15th of February 1854, Henry Clayton took Mr. W.C.S. Percy of the Albert Works, Trafford Street, Manchester, maker of the Champion Brick Pressing Machines to court for infringing another one of his Patents & the resulting injunction refrained Mr. Percy from selling any of his modified machines & for Mr. Percy to account for any profits made from these re-designed machines which infringed Clayton's Patent. This latest infringement bankrupted Mr. Percy & he spent part of 1854 in Lancaster Gaol after this action, but the inventive Mr. Percy soon bounced back & he is recorded as patenting his redesigned mechanisms & apparatus for producing bricks in 1858 & again in 1861.  

In June 1855 Henry Clayton took out an United States Patent for one of his machines & this patent can be viewed at this Link

The Mechanics' magazine Dec. 1857 edition records that Henry Clayton had just completed 12 of his Patented Machines for works run by the Government of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The article continues to report that a few weeks earlier several machines where at the docks ready to be shipped to Paraguay, South America, to be used for producing bricks in the construction of a railway in Paraguay.

The baptism of Henry & Emma's daughter, Julia took place on the 15th of March 1857 & this document records the Clayton's were still living at 21, Upper Park Place. 

The 1861 census records the Clayton's as now living at Woodfield House, Woodfield Road, Paddington with Henry listed as an Engineer & Iron Founder. On the 8th of August 1864 Henry advertised that he had relocated his business to his "New Atlas Engineering Works" on Woodfield Road, situated on land which ran south from Woodfield Road to the canal (see map below). With the works buildings having a 170ft frontage to the Grand Central Canal, Henry effectively used this canal to despatch his machinery via barge. Henry may have also transported his machines via the railway with his works being very close to Paddington Goods Station on Harrow Road, which is just off to the right on this map. Harrow Road is coloured red. 

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1913.

An 1862 advert for Henry Clayton & Co. in Google books at this Link.

In 1868 Francis Howlett joins Henry Clayton as a partner in the business. Henry's son, Henry junior is also recorded as a partner with the company recorded as Henry Clayton, Son & Howlett. In the 1871 census Henry aged 57 is listed as an engineer & Henry junior aged 21 (born 30.12.1849 - died June 1938 in Wandsworth) is listed as an engineer/merchant, living with Emma & the rest of the family on Woodfield Road, Paddington. Also in this 1871 census Francis Howlett aged 26, an engineer is listed as living next door to Henry at Atlas House, Woodfield Road, Paddington.

It appears that in 1879 Henry junior leaves the partnership as the company is just named as Clayton & Howlett unless it was Henry the father who had retired & left the partnership. There is no firm evidence to which of the two Henry's had left the partnership. 1883 sees the next change in the structure of the company with Henry Clayton (the one which was left, father b.1814 or junior b.1849 ?) leaving the company & the partnership of Francis Howlett & William Henry Venables is recorded as carrying on the business under the style of Clayton, Howlett & Venables. In 1884 Henry Clayton (born 1814) our brick machine inventor dies in Kensington aged 70. We then find in 1890 the partnership of Howlett & Venables was dissolved & Francis Howlett carried on to run the business on Woodfield Road as Clayton, Howlett & Co.   

The next major change at the Atlas Works was in 1902 when Brightside Foundry & Engineering Co. of Sheffield acquired the business & duly moved production of Clayton Howlett Patented Machinery to Sheffield. The exact date of this move is unknown, but it may have been by 1909. Searching the web has revealed the 1909 advert below for Brightside/Clayton selling their machinery from their Sheffield works. 

Reproduced with the permission of music-ad-world

With Brightside reorganising their three Sheffield works, of which one closed in June 1926, I am assuming that this was when the production of Clayton's brick & tile machines ceased as there is no mention of them being produced by the company in Grace's Guide after this date.  

More adverts, newspaper reports & photos of the various machines made by Clayton's can be seen at this link.

I conclude the history of Clayton's with two footnotes.
Today Upper Park Place is now named Ivor Place & the Francis Holland School for Girls was built on the site of Henry's first Atlas Works in 1915 & then the site of Henry's New Atlas Works on Woodfield Road, Paddington is now occupied by a NHS Nursing Home.

It has crossed my mind to what happened to Clayton's sales ledgers, did they get transferred to Sheffield in 1902 with the Brightside takeover or did they end up at the refuse tip, never to be seen again. On the other hand they may be in an archive department, somewhere ?  These ledgers would have been a great source of information, enabling me to track down which brickworks purchased Clayton's machines.

Now onto the bricks found. Up to yet two different Clayton stamp die marks have been found & listed under each are the bricks which bear the makers name on it's reverse. However there are two "one offs" which are slightly different to the two main stamp marks & are shown with their corresponding named bricks. With finding many bricks with only the Clayton name stamped in them, I have come to the conclusion that it was Clayton's who produced the makers stamp die at extra cost & at the time of supplying their machines, hence the finding of the many no company named bricks, especially the ones found abroad. 

All the brick images not credited to, have been taken by me & the ones which are credited, the owners have given me their full permission to reproduce them in this post.

I believe this was the first Clayton stamp mark to be used & can be found on the reverse of the bricks listed below.

This brick was found in Lancashire & it's maker, B. M. has not been identified. Photo by Frank Lawson.

J.E.D. stands for John Evelyn Denison, 1st Viscount Ossington, who owned Ossington Hall in the village of Ossington near Newark, Notts. from 1820 to 1873. His estate brickworks is shown as disused on a map dated 1875 & a "& Co." version is shown later. 

Images reproduced with the permission of the Violity Auction site. I have added the Claytons Patent image as it is a variation to the first one shown, with it not having the apostrophe between the N & S. Russian brick collector Vladimir Smirnov supplied me with these two images, to which he added this info - "Prince Kotschoubey meaning, it was produced in Dikan'ka village of Poltava Province of Russia in the third quarter of XIX Century by the owner of this land."

Several Russian Prince's are recorded as purchasing Clayton's machines in a newspaper article & an entry in the Mechanics' magazine, but Prince Kotschoubey is not listed in either, but I am taking it that this Prince purchased his machine at the same time. First the 6th of June 1859 edition of the Bedford Mercury newspaper reports that Henry Clayton had obtained special privileges from the Russian Government to introduce his well known & highly successful patented brick-making machinery to brick manufactories in St. Petersburg & Moscow & that Henry had sent out his first class staff to supervise the erection of buildings & his machinery. Second, the December 1859 edition of the Mechanics' magazine tells us that it's reporters had been invited to view Mr. Clayton's machines at an exhibition in Baker Street which was showing his smaller hand powered brick making machines & his larger machines could be viewed at his nearby Atlas Works. The article goes on to say the working machines on display at his Atlas Works where bound for Russia & one had been sold to Prince Bariatinsky, one to Prince Potemkin & a third was being sent to the Siberian mines owned by Prince Demidoff. The article continues to report that another machine was bound for Venice & an order of 20 machines where close to completion & would soon be on their way to Bombay.  

D. Davis - BGA = B G A probably stands for 'Blaen Gwawr Aberaman' where David Davis sank the Blaegarw Colliery between 1843 and 1845 to work the area south of Aberdare, South Wales. In 1866 the new company David Davis and Sons Limited was formed, but after only a few months David Davis died and his sons, Lewis and David took control of the Company. Lewis Davis died in 1888 and control devolved to his son, Frederick Lewis Davis, two years later David Davis and Sons became a Limited Liability Company. The company then withdrew from the Aberdare area and concentrated on its collieries in the Rhondda Fach Valley. The OS map surveyed between 1868 and 1878 shows a brickworks with four circular kilns adjacent to the colliery. Photo and info by Phil Jenkins.

The following bricks bear this 2nd back stamp which now includes the words "& Co's". On saying that I have just one brick which is stamped Clayton & C. - Patent & it is shown in the Cocking entry.

From several sources including info from Jon Allen, a descendant of the works owners, I have found that the Grove Brick Works, Ballington near Sudbury, Suffolk was owned by Robert Allen from 1812, then Robert Alfred Allen is listed between 1844 to 1858, then R.A. Allen & Sons 1865 to 1909. The company was dissolved by Robert Basil Allen on the 22nd April 1909. Allen & Boggis re-opened the works in 1922 & ran it until it's closure in 1939. NLS map showing location of the works. The Allen's operated a second works at Bures Hamlet between 1886 & 1906. More Allen info can be read at  these links - Historic England  Bures-online

Photo by Andrew Wood.
Tile photo by Mark Cranston.

Operational from 1863 to around 1900, info on the Alva brickworks can read on Mark Cranston's Scottish Brick History website.

Photo by Frank Lawson courtesy of PRBCO who has also supplied the info. S. Balm & Sons, Denholme, West Yorkshire was operational c1875. 

This brick is thought to have been made by William Bostock of Bath Street, Ilkeston who was  born in 1779 and is recorded as a brickmaker in the 1841 census. He had 3 sons & more can be read about William in my Ilkeston Brickworks post.

The Bulwell Brick Co. owned two works in Nottingham & were operational from the mid 1870's to 1940 & more can be read about this company in my Nottingham Brickworks - part 3 post.

William Nelson Bundy was first in partnership with James Anderson from 1868 to 1872 when the partnership was dissolved see London Gazette, Bundy then carried on the business on his own. Bundy & Anderson are listed in Kelly’s 1869 edition at Chatteris Road, Whittlesey. W.N. Bundy is then listed on his own at Station Road, Whittlesey in Kelly’s 1879 edition. Bundy was again in liquidation in 1882 with William Shepperson & William Henry Clarke listed as his trustees, see London Gazette. Bundy then goes into partnership with William Vergette & William Robert Wherry as Bundy & Co. & again the London Gazette records this partnership was dissolved in 1885 & the business in the future would be run by W.N. Bundy. Trade directory entries for Bundy up to the 1913 edition list the works at Lattersey Field, Whittlesey. All these locations for the works are the same site near to the railway station at Turningtree Bridge & can be seen on this NLS map. The works closed in 1913.

Photo by the late Mike Stokes & Mike's brick site has now been incorporated into Phil Jenkins' site who gave me permission to add this brick to the post. Information on this South Wales works at this link, listed under Llanishen. 

This Cocking example is the only example found stamped Clayton & C. Patent. Thomas Cocking started his Walkeringham, Notts. brick works around 1875 & was run by subsequent family members until at least 1941 (last recorded date found) & more info about this works can be read in my North Notts Brickworks post.

John Cooper is listed as owning his Misterton, Notts brickworks in Kelly's 1876 to 1891 editions & more than likely was the maker of this brick. John was followed at this works by George Cooper (possibly John's son) & this works is listed as still being in operation in Kelly's 1936 edition. Through the marriage of George Cooper & Thomas Cocking's daughter (entry above), George went on to run Cocking brickworks in Walkeringham as well. More info in my North Notts. Brickworks post. Photo by Frank Lawson. 

This E.D. brick was made by Edwin DuSautoy at his California Brickworks which was on Stockbrook Lane, Derby. For a short period of time around 1881 Edwin owned a second works on Parcel Terrace. Edwin had established his California Brickworks by 1880 & it appears his son, George took over around 1904. 1908 sees the Derby Brick Co. taking over the California Brickworks & a later trade directory entry lists George DuSautoy as manager at DBC, so I am assuming it was George who together with other (unknown) share holders formed the Derby Brick Co. More can be read about the DuSautoy brickworks in my Derby Brickworks part 1 post. Photo by me courtesy of the David Kitching collection.

This is the John Evelyn Denison example with "& Co's on it's reverse with I told you about earlier in the post.

The maker of this G.C. & S. (son/s) brick is unknown, but was photograph by David Kitching in Newent, Gloucester.

Who owned the Linby brickworks which was on Wighay Road, Linby, Notts. is unknown. Available trade directories have also drawn a blank to it's owners. The works is shown on a map dated 1875, but only the clay pit is shown on a map dated 1887. Today, the houses on Peverel Road have just been built on this former brickworks site & are situated next to the former clay pit & they occupy land which had not been used for brickmaking or the buildings of the works.  

Joseph Parkinson, Greens Lane, Helmshore, Haslingden, Lancs. Together with his father, William they owned a brickworks in the Flaxmoss area of Helmshore from 1865 to 1879. The 1891 OS map shows Brick House Farm was just north of Greens Lane, so the brickworks may have been in the two fields between the farm & Greens Lane. Some of William's family members were also brickmakers in Blackburn & Accrington & William & Joseph may have been brickmaking at these other works as well. Joseph went bankrupt in 1879 while running his Helmshore works. Photo by Frank Lawson & Info courtesy of Colin Driver with an addition by me.


Photo by Frank Lawson & info for the brickworks at Poynton can be read on David Kitching's Brocross website.

Around 1880 George Robinson (junior) established his brickworks next to his New Trent Brewery which where situated adjacent to the railway & canal & south of Crowle village, Lincolnshire. Both of George's enterprises can been seen on this 1895 O.S./NLS map In 1895 George was declared bankrupt, however it was not until 1906 that George Robinson's creditors managed to sell the brickworks & his family home, Tetley HallPhoto by Angus Townley & more can be read about this Brickworks & Brewery, both written by Angus on

William & Joseph Seal owned Attleborough Stone Quarries between 1863 & 1871 & it appears that it was the Seal Brothers who established the brickworks at the quarry because the following owners of the quarry are all recorded as quarry proprietors & brickmakers. A 1871 sales document lists the equipment at the quarry & brickyard the Seal Brothers were selling as;- Engine House, boiler shed, several drying sheds, three kilns capable of producing 18,000 bricks each, three circular ovens, shedding, 25 horse-powered horizontal steam engine, two boilers, brickmaking machines by Clayton & Shuttleworth, traveling crane, tramway & a lifting crane. Both the quarry & brickworks closed in the early 1930’s. Photo by Tim Lawton & Info by Tim Lawton & from Peter Lee’s book - Nuneaton & Bedworth Coal, Stone, Clay & Iron.

This XYZ brick is a bit of a mystery as several of these bricks have been found by different collectors in the Chesterfield & Renishall areas of Derbyshire. The colour & texture of this brick is similar to one made at Brampton, Chesterfield, but why did the maker stamp his bricks XYZ. If anyone has the answer, please get in touch, e-mail address on the Links & Contacts tab. Photo by Frank Lawson.

This USA brick was photographed by Kyle Katz.
O.S. Morse & Co. can be found listed in the 1868 edition of the New Hampshire Business Directory at Plaistow, New Hampshire. Another Morse/Clayton brick can be seen at this Link.

Photos by Arild Skjæveland Vivås.

This LCA example was found by Arild Skjæveland Vivås while he was diving at Hillevåg, Stavanger, Norway. Arild writes "Here the Køhler family ran a shipyard in the mid 1800’s and later built the largest seaside-storage houses (sjøhus) in the region." Arild thinks the brick was ships ballast & it originated from the UK. I have not been able to establish who LCA is, it may be a British company, but as wrote Clayton's machines were shipped all round the world. If it did come from Britain, a possible area is Middlesborough because the clay used to make bricks from this area is similar to this LCA brick.
Many Thanks to Arild who is a Maritime Archaeologist at Stavanger Maritime Museum

A Clayton brick with no makers mark on it's reverse can be seen on this New Zealand website. The brick is shown at the end of the article.

Another Clayton only example can be seen on this Australian site.

Many Thanks to -
Mark Cranston & to all of the other people who I have credited in this post for helping me in bringing this article to the web.

National Library of Scotland
Ordnance Survey
Grace's Guide
Google Books

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